Wholesaler charged with exporting Pokka drinks worth over $340k to North Korea, Latest Singapore News

A wholesale supplier that exports beverages has been charged with exporting Pokka drinks to North Korea.

Singapore has officially suspended all trade ties with North Korea as of November 2017, complying with the imposed sanctions on the country by the United Nations.

On Wednesday (May 25), 123 Duty Free was slapped with five charges under the Regulation of Imports and Exports for exporting Pokka drinks, including Pokka Milk Coffee and Pokka Melon Milk, to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

According to court documents, the company is said to have exported the prohibited goods, totalling about $341,000, between April 10 and Aug 8, 2018.

The case is scheduled to be heard in court next on June 27.

If convicted, 123 Duty Free faces a fine of up to $100,000 or three times the value of the goods, whichever is greater.

Repeat offenders face a fine of up to $200,000 or four times the value of the goods, whichever is greater.

In August 2019, news website NK News reported that Pokka Singapore had pressured a distributor into hiding its dealings in North Korea in August 2018, following an earlier report that the company was actively seeking resellers in the country in spite of a trade ban.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs told The Straits Times then that the authorities were investigating the alleged exports of Pokka products.

In August 2018, Pokka Singapore denied media reports that it tried to illegally export products to North Korea.

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